Infinity and Me
by Hosford, Kate; Swiatkowska, Gabi (ILT)






After the sight of a night sky filled with stars makes eight-year-old Uma feel very small, she asks people how they think about infinity and gets a variety of answers before realizing the comfort in knowing that some things go on forever.





Considering that adults have trouble grappling with the concept of infinity, you have to admire Hosford for trying to wrap young brains around it. There is only the scantest sense of character, place, and story here, but we do meet a young girl named Uma, who stares up at the stars. "I started to feel very, very small." She asks a number of people how they imagine infinity, and each has his or her own creative take. Her friend Sam envisions infinity as a figure 8 racetrack. Grandma sees it as an ever-enlarging family tree. This compels Uma to tackle a few old philosophical saws, including the one about cutting something in half and then cutting that half in half, ad infinitum. Swiatkowska was the right choice of illustrator for the spiraling subject matter. Her big-eyed Victorian-looking characters embark upon various flights of fancy: driving along an infinity sign, becoming a Vitruvian Man, and standing beneath an ice-cream cone that would take forever to lick. Oddball for sure, but good fun to puzzle over. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.





Uma's struggle with the meaning of infinity offers readers a playful, gorgeous introduction to the mathematical concept. When little Uma gazes at the vast night sky and wonders how many stars are there, she asks, "How could I even think about something as big as infinity?" When friends, her grandmother, the school cook and the music teacher offer creative ways of describing infinity, Uma ends up feeling rather overwhelmed. She then realizes that her pondering has made her forget about the new red shoes she'd been so excited about right before her stargazing musings began. Worse yet-no one had noticed her fancy new footwear that day! But after school, Grandma tells her "Uma, I meant to tell you this morning-those are the most beautiful shoes I have ever seen!" and in a joyous spread, Uma glories, "…my love for her was as big as infinity." Then Uma and her grandmother go outside to look at the sky, and "[s]nuggled up to Grandma, the sky didn't seem so huge and cold anymore. Now it was more like a sparkly blanket, covering us both." While Hosford's text deftly evokes the child's voice, Swiatkowska's expressive, lush illustrations steal the show, providing infinite opportunities for readers to examine each and every spread. A stellar artistic vision of the infinite power of intergenerational love. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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